I’ve always been described as a good friend. Not to brag but I guess I kinda am. I’m the type of person that will always help my friends if they’re in need. I will go beyond what is expected of me to make them feel loved and supported. I keep secrets, and sometimes I’ll even lie for them. I’m a loyal friend, to say the least. But that loyalty was tested the second semester of my sophomore year when one of my best friends started dating a man almost a decade older than her.
I remember the day that she first started texting him, we were going to see a movie and he worked at the theater. He offered to give us a couple of free tickets. Almost instantaneously I noticed the way he talked to her. Sweetly, and very gentle. I mentioned something to her about it but she brushed it off by saying “No, he’s just being nice”. And I let it go at that. Less than a month later they were “together”, or as together as a 23 and 14-year-old can be. I’ll never forget the feeling I had the day she told me she loved him. The sudden drop in my stomach that was a mix of fear and disappointment. She used to skip lunch to go and be with him. I’d bite my nails to a stub until she got back because I was so worried. He took everything from her. Her innocence, her safety, her common sense. If I told her what she was doing was wrong she’d blow up at me. Tell me how I didn’t understand because I had never been in love. Because of this, I stopped hanging out with her as much. Our friendship dwindled as we both found new friends. But I continued to keep her secret. No matter how hard it was to keep bottled up. Finally, in late July, I snapped. She had started telling me about all the things they had done and all the things they were going to do. I couldn’t take it. I was so so worried about her. So I made the decision to tell my mom what was going on. She ended up calling my friends mother, anonymously and informing her of the situation. My friend got in a lot of trouble, but she was safe. And that was what I cared about.
This situation forced me to put what I knew was right above what I normally did. I had to think about her well being in the future instead of the present. What it would have done to her mentally, in years to come, if I hadn’t stopped it when I did. She still doesn’t know that it was me, and I don’t think I’ll ever tell her. Despite everything, I still value having her trust. And that’s what surprised me the most. How worried I was that she would find out that I had been the one to spill her most important secret. Even though I know what I did was right, she might not see it the same way. I value friendship, I really do, but I value doing the right thing more. This experience has taught me that. And telling someone what was going on wasn’t being a bad friend, it was being a good friend. A great friend in fact. It took me a while to realize that. I beat myself up for months afterward. But now, I’ve come to know that it was the right thing to do. It was something a friend would do. And I don’t regret it at all.